Attracting International Students to Semi-peripheral Countries: A Comparative Study of Norway, Poland and Portugal
The paper investigates the approaches employed for attracting international full-degree students in three countries on the periphery of Europe/the European Economic Area: Norway, Poland and Portugal. These countries, considered semi-peripheral regarding international student recruitment, have shorter traditions for incoming mobility than countries that are major recruiters and which have been the focus of previous research on attracting international students. The paper analyses national policies and strategies, focusing on their emergence, rationales and instruments. The study is comparative, aiming to find commonalities and differences in the approaches of these countries further to the changing global environment in higher education. The major finding is that semi-peripheral countries appear to employ different strategies and resort to other comparative advantages than the largest student recruiters, exploiting political, cultural or geographical aspects rather than educational assets. The findings highlight the need for these countries to identify their distinctive attraction capacities and assets, as well as to be purposeful in choosing their target recruitment regions.
Keywordsinternational students recruitment periphery policies internationalization
We would like to thank Mari Elken for her thorough reading of a draft of this paper and for her helpful feedback. This paper has been developed with support for a postdoctoral fellowship from the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), Grant Number SFRH/BPD/85724/2012 and with support from the Polish National Research Council (NCN) through its research Grant (UMO-2013/10/M/HS6/00561).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.
- Antonowicz, D. (2012) ‘External Influences and Local Responses. Changes in Polish Higher Education 1990–2005’, in P. Maassen and M. Kwiek (eds). National higher education reforms in a European context: comparative reflections on Poland and Norway, Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, pp. 87–111.Google Scholar
- Assunção, M. (2017) ‘Exportação do Ensino Superior’, PortugalGlobal: A crescente internacionalização do ensino superior português (97): 7–8.Google Scholar
- Barnett, G. A., Lee, M., Jiang, K. and Park. H.W. (2016) ‘The flow of international students from a macro perspective: a network analysis’, Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education 46(4): 533–559.Google Scholar
- Blumenthal, P., Goodwin, C., Smith, A. and Teichler, U. (1996) Academic mobility in a changing world: Regional and Global Trends, London: Jessica Kingsley.Google Scholar
- Cantwell, B. (2017) ‘The geopolitics of the educational market’, in E. Hazelkorn (ed). Global Rankings and the Geopolitics of Higher Education, London: Routledge, pp. 309–324.Google Scholar
- Cox, M. (2013) International student recruitment: policies and developments in selected countries: Sweden, Norway and Finland, The Hague: Nuffic.Google Scholar
- de Wit, H., Hunter, F., Howard, L. and Egron-Polak, E. (2015) European Parliament study on internationalisation of higher education, Brussels: European Union.Google Scholar
- Drori, G. (2013) ‘Branding universities: Trends and strategies’, International Higher Education (71): 3–5.Google Scholar
- Elken, M., Hovdhaugen, E. and Wiers-Jenssen, J. (2015) Higher Education in the Nordic Countries: Evaluation of the Nordic agreement on admission to higher education, publishing series TemaNord 2015:526, Copenhagen: Nordic Council of Ministers.Google Scholar
- European University Association (2013) Internationalisation in European higher education: European policies, institutional strategies and EUA support, Brussels: EUA.Google Scholar
- Fonseca, M. L., Esteves, A. and Iorio, J. (2015) ‘Mobilidade internacional de estudantes do ensino superior: os alunos universitários brasileiros em Portugal’ in J. Peixoto, B. Padilla, J.C. Marques, and P. Góis (eds). Vagas atlânticas: migrações entre Brasil e Portugal no início do século XXI, Lisboa: Editora Mundos Sociais, pp. 149–175.Google Scholar
- GUS [Central Statistical Office] (2016) Higher education institutions and their finances in 2015, Warsaw: GUS.Google Scholar
- Knight, J. and de Wit, H. (1995) ‘Strategies for internationalisation of higher education: Historical and conceptual perspectives’, in H. de Wit (ed). Strategies for internationalisation of higher education. A comparative study of Australia, Canada, Europe, and the United States, Amsterdam: European Association for International Education, pp. 5–32.Google Scholar
- MADR/MEC (2014) Uma estratégia para a internacionalização do ensino superior português [A strategy for the internationalisation of Portuguese Higher Education], Lisbon: Ministry of Regional Development and Ministry of Education.Google Scholar
- Mazzarol, T. and Soutar, G.N. (2002) ‘The “push-pull” Factors Influencing International Student Selection of Education Destination’, International Journal of Educational Management 16(2): 82–90.Google Scholar
- Ministry of Education and Research (2009) Internasjonalisering av utdanning [Internationalisation of education], White paper no 14 (2008–2009), Oslo: Ministry of Education.Google Scholar
- Ministry of Education and Research (1985) Om høyere utdanning [On higher education], White paper no 19, Oslo: Ministry of Education.Google Scholar
- Ministry of Education and Research (2001) Gjør din plikt, krev din rett. Kvalitetsreform av høyere utdanning [Do your duty, demand your rights. Quality reform in higher education]. White paper no 27, Oslo: Ministry of Education.Google Scholar
- Ministry of Education and Research (2017) Kultur for kvalitet i høyere utdanning [Culture for Quality in higher education]. White paper no 11 2016–2017. Oslo: Ministry of Education and research.Google Scholar
- MNiSW [Ministry of Science and Higher Education] (2009a) Partnerstwo dla Wiedzy. Reforma szkolnictwa wyższego w Polsce, Warsaw: MNiSW.Google Scholar
- MNiSW (2009b) Założenia do nowelizacji ustawy – Prawo o szkolnictwie wyższym oraz ustawy o stopniach naukowych i tytule naukowym oraz o stopniach i tytule w zakresie sztuki, Warsaw: MNiSW.Google Scholar
- MNiSW (2015) Program umiędzynarodowienia szkolnictwa wyższego, MNiSW, Warsaw.Google Scholar
- Mourato, J. (2016) ‘Ensino Superior Politécnico and internacionalização’, Público, 23 February.Google Scholar
- Nicolescu, L. (2009) ‘Applying Marketing to Higher Education: scopes and limits’, Management and Marketing 4(2): 35–44.Google Scholar
- Norges offentlige utredninger (1989) Grenseløs læring [Borderless knowledge] Green paper 1989:13, Oslo: NOU.Google Scholar
- OECD (2016) Education at a Glance. OECD Indicators, Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
- OECD (2017) Education at a Glance. OECD Indicators, Paris: OECD.Google Scholar
- Opper, S., Teichler, U. and Carlson, J. (1990) The Impact of Study Abroad Programmes on Students and Graduates, London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.Google Scholar
- Pacholski, L. (2005) ‘Jakie uniwersytety?’, Nauka 1: 147–156.Google Scholar
- Sarpebakken, B. (2016) Doktorgradsstatistikk. Tabeller og figurer [Doctoral statistics. Tables and figures] Oslo: Nordic Institute for Studies in Innovation, Research and Education. http://www.nifu.no/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Figurer-og-tabeller-1980-2016-NY.pdf.
- SIU (2016) Mobilitetsrapport 2016 [Mobility report 2016], Bergen: Norwegian Centre for International cooperation in Education.Google Scholar
- Sułkowski Ł. (2016) ‘Strategia umiędzynarodowienia’, Forum Akademickie 11, accessed 15 February 2019 at https://prenumeruj.forumakademickie.pl/fa/2016/11/strategia-umiedzynarodowienia.
- Sursock, A. (2015) Trends 2015: Learning and Teaching in European Universities, Brussels: EUA.Google Scholar
- Thieme, J. (2009) Szkolnictwo wyższe: wyzwania XXI wieku: Polska, Europa, USA, Warsaw: Difin.Google Scholar
- van der Wende, M. (1997) ‘Missing links. The relationship between National Policies for Internationalisation and those for Higher Education in general’, in T. Kälvemark and M. van der Wende (eds). National Policies for the Internationalisation of Higher Education in Europe, Stockholm: National Agency of Higher Education, pp. 10–38.Google Scholar
- Varghese, N.V. (2008) Globalization of higher education and cross-border student mobility, Paris: UNESCO.Google Scholar
- Vedung, E. (1998) ‘Policy Instruments: Typologies and Theories’, in M.-L. Bemelmans-Videc, R.C. Rist, and E. Vedung (eds). Carrots, Sticks and Sermons: Policy Instruments and Their Evaluation, New Brunswick and London: Transaction Publishers, pp. 21–58.Google Scholar
- Wallerstein, I.M. (1974) The modern world-system. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Wiers-Jenssen, J. and Sandersen, H.T. (2017) ‘The Norwegian Framework for Educational Cooperation with Russia: Educational Policy with a Hint of Foreign Affairs’, in M. Sundet, P.A. Forstorp, and A. Örtenblad (eds). Higher Education in the High North: Academic Exchanges between Norway and Russia, Dordrecht: Springer, pp. 47–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Wiers-Jenssen, J. (2018) ‘Paradoxical Attraction? Why an Increasing Number of International Students Choose Norway’, Journal of Studies in International Education, published online 27 July. https://doi.org/10.1177/1028315318786449.